Having grown up in the Midwest, Mardi Gras was not a time of year that was celebrated. Sure we had a pub crawl the weekend before Fat Tuesday, but that was about the extent of the celebration. You paid your flat fee to get into all the bars downtown, someone passed out some beads, and a few bands played some “Louisiana style” music. I suppose there may have been a parade before the pub crawl began, but it was nowhere near on the scale as what you’d see here in Mobile.
I was surprised to learn when we moved here what a big deal Mardi Gras was to everyone. Natives are quick to tell you that Mardi Gras started here in Mobile, not in New Orleans. There are weeks and weeks of parades, Mardi Gras societies, Kings, Queens, Juvenile Courts, balls, kids get out of school, and Moon Pies. Moon Pies? I thought you got beads at parades! But no! You get moon pies, stuffed animals, plastic toys, candy, cups, and of course, beads.
A few weeks ago, Tate, Peanut, myself, and the in laws attended a parade down on Dauphin Island. It was very family friendly, low key, and short. It was fun, but unfortunately was cold and raining. I guess it was a little disappointing, I expected more.
We were not disappointed today. It was SO MUCH FUN!!!! I get it now! I see why Mardi Gras is SUCH a huge deal around here! Luckily the weather was great, maybe a little chilly, but sunny with very little breeze. There were two parades back to back, taking about an hour to see the whole show. We all had a blast watching the people, the horses, the floats, and the marching bands. It was hilarious to realize you coveted the cheap Peanut was even putting his arms up as the floats passed trying to catch all the throws. We made out like bandits and now that we have all this stuff, I have no idea what we’ll ever do with it all.
There are more day parades next Saturday (yay!!!!!). I can’t wait to do it all over again. Mardi Gras is definitely one of the benefits to living here.